Written by 4:32 pm Tents

The Best Screen Tents for Camping

Photo of camping tent curtain in the forest

There’s nothing like getting out in nature, especially with your loved ones. But as summer brings beautiful sights it can also bring relentless sunshine, hungry bugs, and stifling warm breezes.

Just as winter brings great camping opportunities, wind and rain can certainly dampen things. Is it possible to enjoy all the wonders of nature without the annoyances?

Look no further, we can happily say yes! Meet the camping Instant screen house.

These tents aren’t like your normal three-man sleeping tents, they are made mostly of mesh and weather-resistant materials to keep you warm/cool/dry in any situation.

Favored by campers, parents, and the elderly alike it provides easy and versatile protection whether on the beach, in the mountains, or in your own back yard.

We’ve put together a list of the top screen houses for campers, shade lovers, and party planners alike to help you choose the right space for your individual needs. Not only that, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions and considerations, as well as the pros and cons of every product to help you decide.

The Top 10 Best Screen Tents for Camping

It’s clear to us that no trip is complete without one of these, whether you are eating bug-free or trying to shade from the sun, there’s something in this line-up of the best screen houses for you.

1. Coleman Screened Canopy Tent

Style: 12×10 feet  | Weight: 45.2 lbs

This screen tent is an excellent addition to any outdoor adventure. Sitting at 12 X 10 feet with an 8.4 center height, there’s plenty of room in here for all your camping equipment or activities. Panoramic mesh walls for 360-degree views and protection from flying insects.

Coleman also boasts a very easy setup, with telescoping poles and an extending one-piece frame. The material is UV guarded and water-resistant and designed to last in the elements, just for that extra peace of mind. Although its size may be daunting to a weary traveler, it comes with an easy wheel carry bag so it can go anywhere with you!

If you want to make your Coleman Screened Canopy Tent a more permanent fixture though, it comes with tent stakes ad Guy lines to keep it where it is, wherever that may be. The mesh paneling is of such high quality that even birdwatchers use and love this screen tent!

Pro's:
  • Straight walls and domed roof to provide maximum rain runoff.
  • Can be used as either sunshade or fully paneled.
  • Weather and insect-proof.
Cons:
  • Sells out frequently.

2. Coleman Instant Screenhouse

Style: 12×10 feet  | Weight: 45.2 lbs

Coleman is an excellent brand for screen houses and other outdoor gear alike. Unlike the one above, this addition to Coleman collection has instant setup, no messing around!

Its 15 X 13 feet of spacious UV guarded protection. It has a light attachment on the roof and fits over a standard picnic table with room to spare, your campsite nights can be fully enjoyed while having full protection from bugs, no matter how many people you’re entertaining.

7 feet tall at its highest point, this screen house is still lightweight and portable so you can take it on any outdoor adventure you embark on. Coleman is so confident you’ll love this screen tent they offer a full year warranty in case you’re not satisfied.

This one is perfect for the solo adventurer because of its super-fast setup and portability, it’s just as easy to take down as it is to put up too.

Pro's:
  • Bugproof Mesh for protection and an excellent view.
  • 2 large spacious doors for access and ventilation.
  • Oversized carry bag for easy disassembly.
Cons:
  • Ground pegs not included.

3. TAILGATERZ Magnetic Screen House

Style: 12×10 feet  | Weight: 45.2 lbs

When you’re out in the elements with kids, pets, or just lots of kit it can be hard to maneuver tent zippers, especially if that tent is, for example, your camp kitchen.

Enter the TAILGATERZ Magnetic Screen House. Unlike most other screen house s on the market, this product has magnetically closing doors for instant access! Not only that, the magnets allow kids and even pets to access the doors freely, providing ease of use for any outdoor vacation.

This magnetic screen house is a spacious 11 X 9 feet so there’s lots of room for your BBQ, a standard picnic table and chairs, and doesn’t have a floor so it can be placed over anything from grills to hot tubs.

It has straight walls and sits at 7 feet center height, so gives a light airy feeling and plenty of headroom.

Pro's:
  • Hook for light attachment.
  • Transparent mesh screens for maximum view enjoyment.
  • Lightweight and large enough for big groups.
Cons:
  • Not suitable for a one-person setup.

4. GAZELLE 21500 Pop Up Screen Tent

Style: 12×10 feet  | Weight: 45.2 lbs

This pop up 6 side screen tent is just what you need for large camping trips. The six tight-weave mesh walls provide a 360-degree view and protection. The Gazelle boasts 2C00D Oxford Weave for the strongest and most durable screen tent. with a 7ft height clearance, it provides a spacious outdoor protected area perfect for camp kitchens or just to chill out in nature bug-free!

These are on amazon for under $300 but has reinforced corners, pops out for instant setup, and had a UV 50+ resistant and waterproof roof. weighing in at about 34 pounds this is an excellent choice for any camping holiday with lots of guests or even an outdoor garden party.

The Gazelle tent has a 360-degree design but still fits a picnic table plus 8 adults, and will stay sturdy in wind and rain and has a handy storm flap for ease of use, and has high-quality poles and reinforced fixtures including heavy-duty zips.

Pro's:
  • Oversized carry bag for bolt-ons and easy disassembly.
  • Reinforced hubs for longevity.
  • Videos provided for setup guidance.
Cons:
  • Wind panels aren’t included but can be attached.

5. WENZEL Magnetic Screen House

Style: 12×10 feet  | Weight: 45.2 lbs

This is the second magnetic screen house in our line up, again featuring 360-degree mesh paneling with two intuitive hands-free doors and tent supported pole reinforcements.

Parents and dog owners alike love these due to the easy access doors, compatibility with camping tables and equipment, and flying insect protection. The reviews say this one holds sturdy through the wind and rain and it’s great for BBQs, cookouts, and camp kitchens.

This product is quick to set up and compactly packs down for ease of use and storage. That being said, the center height is 7.5 feet making it a great camping shelter for big parties and all this for less than $150 on Amazon!

Still not convinced? You don’t need to be, Wenzel has added a ten-year warranty.

Pro's:
  • Simple set up and compact storage for ease of use.
  • Fast reliable delivery.
  • Hook for the light fixture.
Cons:
  • No groundsheet.

6. QUICK SET 9281 Escape Shelter Pop Up Tent

Style: 12×10 feet  | Weight: 45.2 lbs

This beast of a camping screen tent has a floor area of 94 feet, but weighs 34 pounds and fits 6-8 people for under $250 on Amazon.

An absolute steal for the money and definitely doesn’t skimp on durability. It has reinforced corner pole pockets, 50+ UV sun protection, and a water-resistant roof. The Quick Set screen tent comes with stakes, a carry bag, center support panels, AND wind panels included.

You can count on the Quick Set is sturdy in strong winds, yet light to carry and camp with. It can also be assembled by one person, spacious and can accommodate a picnic table, and includes heavy-duty poles for longevity.

It is hard to fault this screen house tent with all that for the price and great reviews, it would complete any outdoor holiday.

Pro's:
  • 45 second set up.
  • Large spacious interior.
  • Strong heavy-duty frame.
Cons:
  • Often low/out of stock.

7. OZARK TRAIL Instant Greenhouse

Style: 12×10 feet  | Weight: 45.2 lbs

This screen canopy tent has two large airy doors for ventilation and a large 10 X 10-foot floor area for spacious campsite entertaining! This screen tent is essential to the lineup because of its 60-second setup. Weighing in at just 17 pounds, this is perfect for a family holiday or solo traveler alike.

The frame comes pre-attached so there’s no need to mess around with poles, and still reaches an impressive 7ft height. Ozark has even included all the stakes and ties so if you’re a beginner there’s no need to worry! It also helps reduce high wind to a breeze too, so whether you need to ventilate or insulate this screen house has you covered.

For around $100 on Amazon it’s a must add to any collection and don’t worry, you can hang your favorite camping light on the ceiling hook to keep your vacation or outdoor events well lit and flying insects free.

Pro's:
  • Folds up compact for maximum storage.
  • No set up required.
  • Reinforced zippers.
Cons:
  • Limited availability.

8. TIMBER RIDGE Instant Screen Cabin Tent

Style: 12×10 feet  | Weight: 45.2 lbs

At under 20 lbs and compatible with solo set up this camping screen is the right choice for lone campers. It fits 5-8 people though if big group adventures are more your thing this will definitely work for your needs too.

With a generous 7ft center height this tent is the perfect addition to any trip, to effectively keep your time bug free! This tent comes with stakes included and easy to understand instructions this is a good choice for a novice camper.

The oversized carry bag makes it easy to pack away and store your light, which can be attached to a hook from the ceiling. The lack of groundsheet is an advantage here as it can be placed over fixed down picnic tables to provide some shelter while eating.

Two large doors for ventilation and mesh walls for optimum view also feature on this screen tent, earning its place with a year warranty.

Pro's:
  • Value for money.
  • Ground stakes included.
  • Lightweight.
Cons:
  • Not suitable for heavy rain.

9. ALVINATOR Screen House

Style: 12×10 feet  | Weight: 45.2 lbs

This product has absolutely rave reviews on Amazon. Although it has a large guest capacity at 8-10 adults, this screen house has a great pop up design for instant set up and easy fold down.

It has two large doors for easy entry and exit and ventilation so works great as a camp kitchen or BBQ cover and its durable against stronger winds providing you stake the guy lines down and use the included sandbags to weigh the frame down.

The panoramic 8 sided mesh walls provide great views, ventilation, and bug protection, with a spacious floor space large enough to accommodate garden furniture. it has pockets for storage and wall hooks to hang whatever camping essentials you need easy access to.

It’s at the pricier end of our list at around $300 but has a year warranty if you’re not fully happy.

Pro's:
  • Compact and easy to travel with.
  • Heavy-duty silicone zippers.
  • Plenty of storage.
Cons:
  • Not suitable for heavy rain.

10. CORE INSTANT Screen House

Style: 12×10 feet  | Weight: 45.2 lbs

10×10 in-floor capacity and 7ft height, this is a sturdy and versatile screen tent for camping vacations. It has 360-degree views and airflow thanks to the high-quality mesh panels that make up the walls.

This screen house comes with tie-downs, stakes, and an oversized carry bag for ease of use. The two large airy doors can also be tied back using rollback toggles attached to the side. A light can also be attached to the J hook in the ceiling. All this for under 20 lbs in weight? you don’t have to compromise on size vs travel ability.

This tent has plenty of storage pockets for all your needs, fits over a picnic table, and has protective neoprene sleeves over all the joints for durability and longevity. Core has great customer service too, so if there is ever a problem you’ll be sure to have a helpful hand!

50+ UV sun protection fabric makes up the roof and non-mesh materials making it a perfect camping companion.

Pro's:
  • 60 second instant setup.
  • Lightweight and easy to travel with.
  • Year warranty.
Cons:
  • Often out of stock.

Considerations for Buying a Screen Tent

Capacity

It all depends on what your intention is with your screen house. The perfect tent for an outdoor event may not be the ideal choice for the solo camper.

Capacity is important because you need to think about what is actually going on inside the screen house.

Do you need to consider what furniture you can put in? For example, make sure when measuring up you remember armrests, backrests, and extensions all will make a difference to the overall feel of space inside your tent.

Or how many people can fit inside? To make the most of your shelter you’ll need to think about the shape, height, and space so you don’t end up with a tent you can’t walk around or get into!

Budget

The best screen houses aren’t necessarily the most expensive. Generally the prices on amazon range anywhere from under $100 to about $800, but with so many on the market, it’s hard to narrow down a more specific price range.

The larger the floor area the more expensive is a good rule to live by, so ask yourself if you really need all the extra floor space if you’re not entertaining a smaller group. As the fabric is usually specialized, as it has to be water and sun resistant so more fabric = higher price. Fancy features like magnetic doors will also factor at a higher cost.

If you’re going to be using the houses again and again it would be worth investing in a durable model, with heavy-duty fixings and more waterproofing. If you’re buying for a season or event though, it might be worth saving a few bucks!

Whatever your budget though there is definitely a screen tent out there that will be right for your needs and in your price range.

Construction

When you’re out in the elements it’s important to know what you’re setting up. If you’re a novice camper or skilled outdoorsman you’ll need to think about what type of screen house is suitable for your needs. Camping screen houses usually come in two types; instant and non-instant.

  • Instant: comes with frame pre-affixed to fabric and requires little or no interference to erect itself.
  • Non Instant: Requires some affixation of the frame to the canopy.

If you’re covering a lot of terrain in order to reach your perfect campsite you might be low on energy when you get there, making an instant shelter a better choice for you and your needs.

However, if you need a shelter that is going o fix down and stay put, it might be better to invest in a non-instant option, so that you can stake and weigh it down for a more long term use.

Durability

This is a consideration if you, like plenty of others use, your screen house as a more permanent garden fixture. Most screen houses are made of mesh to keep out bugs while providing an unrestricted view, so this will need to be considered.

Some questions to ask:

  • What will I use this for? If you’re going for a weekend camping getaway it’s worth thinking about weight and practicality over aesthetics and height. Whereas if it’s protecting your porch or hot tub for a whole season you’ll need something more sturdy and durable than compact and lightweight.
  • What will the weather be like? Most of the best screen houses are water-resistant but with mesh walls, they will not be waterproof, look for tents with rain guards or storm flaps if you’re looking for weatherproof.
  • How long will I be using this for? Whether it’s a day, a month, or a whole season this is a vital consideration to make. Some warranties only cover occasional use and will not be valid when significant lasting sun damage is present, so make sure you’re looking for a long-lasting screen house!
  • Is there anything I can do? As every good camper knows it’s important to expect the unexpected, an essential toolkit for any proud new camping shelter owner is: Waterproof Sealant, Duct Tape, Cable Ties, a needle, and some heavy-duty thread. This should help fix any durability issues while on the go!

FAQs

1. What are the best screen tents for camping?

After all, a screen house might be your only protection against the elements and the less wholesome side to the great outdoors like being attacked by bugs or getting soaked to the skin.

The best tents for camping will provide you with privacy and comfort while keeping you free of sunburn, bites, and bad weather conditions.

Are you camping in an unpredictable climate? Is there relentless summer sun or unpredictable winds? Then you’ll need to select a screened canopy that has wind panels and/or UV guard protection.

Standing space varies a lot between the best tents on the market, so make sure you have enough room for even the tallest of guests. Often this measurement is just the highest point, so make sure if the frame slopes in any way you’ll need to make sure you have enough room if it’s being used for a big party.

The canopy fabric will help determined what the right screen house is for you. The canopy makes up almost all of your fabric and protection. For high-quality models, they’re usually 150D and above.

2. Are screen tents easy to put up?

The Instant and non-instant model categories should give you an idea of what kind of set up you’ll be working with. Some screen houses have a pop-up design so once they are unpacked they are literally thrown into shape. Remember to stand clear of them while they do!

There are some keywords that come up time after time when researching the top screen houses:

  • 45 seconds: This is considered an instant setup, so if 45 seconds is mentioned in the product description it sets up in less than a minute.
  • Solo setup: If the reviews of your beloved tent mention solo setup it means that it can be assembled by one person. This is important if you’re gifting it to someone or camping alone.
  • No assembly required: This usually means the tent is of the pop-up variety and literally needs no help from you for assembly.

3. What can screen tents be used for?

Screen tents are usually used as quick pitch shelters for camping adventures, but we can see how bugproof water-resistant outdoor areas would be useful in lots of situations!

Although these mostly freestanding structures might look a lot like the more traditional greenhouses there are a few key differences.

Greenhouses are usually made of plastic or glass and are designed to keep the hot air in. Whereas Screen tents are pliable and moveable, usually made of mesh and fabric, and are designed to be ventilated. Both protect against while making the most of the elements.

Screen tents and canopies are often confused too, but again there are a few main differences. Canopies are usually a lot simpler in design and dome-shaped, whereas screen houses have to mesh walls so you can see around you. Canopies are traditionally domed as well, but screen shelters come in a variety of shapes.

Screen shelters can be used for so many things, whether you are trying to enjoy your porch bug-free, or need to escape the summer sun with your kids or pets, they are a versatile and worthwhile addition to any summer!

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